Haifa Chemicals closes - workers fired

Owner announces closure and dismissal of all employees at company plants in north and south.

Mordechai Sones ,

Ammonia plant
Ammonia plant
Flash 90

The owner of Haifa Chemicals, Jules Trump, announced today (Wednesday) the closure of the company and the dismissal of all workers at its plants in the north and the south.

"To our distress, after tremendous efforts, we reached a point where we will not be able to maintain the company's activity in Israel," Trump wrote to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. "To the best of our understanding, we will not gain permission to return to activity in the near future, so we have no choice but to close the company immediately."

Haifa Chemicals' Deputy Director of Resources, Nir Yitzhaki, explained that in light of the decisions to empty the ammonia tank, the company is forced to close its plants.

Haifa Chemicals has plants in the Haifa Bay and in a factory near Arad. About 1,500 people are expected to be laid off.

Avi Gabbay, chairman of the Zionist Camp party, said: "The ammonia tank in Haifa is a monument to the scandalous gas plan, and the failures of the gas pipeline, against which I fought so hard. It was sharpened this morning with the dismissal of some 2,000 workers from Haifa Chemicals.

"Had it not been for the exorbitant natural gas price that Netanyahu had set for us, there would have been an ammonia production plant and more employment instead of closing Haifa Chemicals. We are talking about thousands of employees whose letter of dismissal was actually given on the day the gas outline was approved," he added.